Tuesday, April 30, 2019

MEUBLES: Comfort + Style

Dean Farris Interior Design

I've had this pair of Louis XV style chairs for quite a while now and I wanted to mention how serviceable they are- especially for parties-  friends like to move them around and pull them up- This intimate grouping is providing another focal point in my Naples living room- And the pair of leopard velvet pillows are adding much needed pattern color and visual interest- here you can see how I placed the other pillow across the room-  keep moving your things around for an instant refresh!  DF

Monday, April 29, 2019

ARTIST: Cy Twombly, Jr.

Twombly studio, Rome

Like many of us, this artist Cy Twombly has always been a favorite, and I've always admired the look of his studio in Rome- It was only about eight years ago that he died there.  From reading about Mr. Twombly I learned that he married well and this helped to further his career- he was in the school of Rauschenberg and John's and being part of a historical group is also always helpful to make it big in the art world-  They like to categorize you in other words-  The prices for his work have become astronomical however one can still acquire high-quality reproductions-  Let art and the world of the artist enlighten you and lift you up to a higher plane!  DF

Sunday, April 28, 2019


Meg Braff Interior Design, Locust Valley, NY

It was very exciting to see the new "veranda"- with Meg Braff on the cover. Mrs. Braff is one of the best designers working in New York right now and I love to follow her work and I would also love to meet her in person as she's a fellow southerner- and so talented-

One of the things that struck me about her Long Island drawing room was the use of the gilt Sunburst as you know I have had one in my own living room for many years now- And very interesting the spread which was 10 pages in VERANDA showed a totally different mirror which I thought was Just as beautiful as the one shown here if not more so-

Another thing I admire about Meg Braff is that she has a decorating shop near her home and as you may know I used to have one too when I lived in Winston-Salem and it's where I picked up some of my best clients that I've ever had in my entire career many many old money families which had been written up in "town and country" and had used the famed Otto Zenke for their decorator prior to his death- You can imagine what a pleasure and a delight that was for me and I was still only in my 30s! My shop was very much influenced by Colefax and Fowler  - I had hundreds of beautiful English and French chintzes for the ladies to choose from as this was in the gilded roaring 1980s-  And of course as always I was inspired by their beautiful families and that's why I chose to post about Meg Braff today as you can see below she has a beautiful family of her own! DF

Saturday, April 27, 2019


Sasha Bikoff for Kips Bay Showhouse New York

I was reading the business of home on editor at large yesterday and came across this interesting article about Sasha -apparently Versace called her after seeing her show house room at kips Bay and flew her to Milan for the salon de mobile !  She is now collaborating with Versace and I'm so happy for her!  My associates at the Miromar Design Center, Ozzie Pancaro and Angela Orsini just came back from Milan and enjoyed the show very much they also picked up some new vendors while there.  Ciao ! DF

Friday, April 26, 2019

COLOR: Haute Couture

Jeffrey Bilhuber Interior Design

I saw this image featured again - on Heather Clawson's "habitually chic" -it's the Locust Valley Long Island country house of Decorator  Jeffrey Bilhuber- Which is currently on the market - Notice the bright apple green wall color very similar to what Mario Buatta used in Patricia's (Altschul) Charleston house- What this color does is to give antiques and more traditional furnishings a bright updated finish- a true Designers color choice, it is not often seen.  When I lived in New York I was told by good sources that Count Hubert de Givenchy launched Jeffrey Bilhuber into New York and international Society.  Apparently they met while Jeffrey was working at the Carlyle Hotel in Manhattan-

This fabulous color that Jeffrey used in his 17th century country house prevents the room from feeling old and tired -it gives it a fresh updated look and very much a designer look- And I'm sure that's why Mario chose it for Patricias house in Charleston especially since he brought existing furnishings from her previous Long Island home also on the North Shore-  And in the below image, Patricia was kind enough to share this picture of her Charleston Garden on Twitter!  Beautiful!  DF

Thursday, April 25, 2019

ICON: Michael Taylor

Michael Taylor Interior Design

While I do lean in a classical direction with decoration and interior design I can still appreciate the point of view of a reconstructed modernist such as the late iconic Michael Taylor- Compare this interior by Michael with the one I showed yesterday in one of the homes of the late Richard Jenrette-
CONTRAST!  One of the elements of interior design that Michael Taylor promoted and enjoyed the most was the idea of contrast in textures and materials and he had a very architectural approach as well as an appreciation of classical furniture and antiques-
In a similar vein the designer Mimi London created a fabulous restaurant in downtown Atlanta called Mimi's which I saw back in the 1970s and it made quite an impression on me-
The clients that Michael Taylor left behind in San Francisco are still talking about him many years after his death -his legacy was one of great style taste and friendship.  Suzanne Tucker, Michael's former assistant, carries on the tradition of quality and luxury that began in the 1950s with Michael Taylor and his inspiration coming from Francis Elkins the famous sister of architect David Adler-
The best most informative book on the subject of Michael Taylor is by Stephen Salny and it is called Michael Taylor Interior Design.  Enjoy! DF

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

JENRETTE: American Classicist


While I never got the chance to meet the iconic collector Richard Hampton Jenrette, a fellow North Carolinian and New Yorker I did hear about him quite frequently from friends in New York- Especially the late Gordon McCollum.

Recently, the one year anniversary of Mr. Jenrette's death was acknowledged by Margize Howell, the long time partner in his Foundation - and I was reminded of the powerful legacy that Mr. Jenrette left behind- for all of us to learn from, and be enriched by-  R.I.P. RHJ. DF

Richard H Jenrette

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

WEEKEND: Pretty Fabulous

Dean Farris Interior Design

THIS Past weekend which was Easter and the beginning of Passover I was determined to make the most of it especially the beautiful April weather here in South Florida- So as usual for the weekend I hopped on my beautiful bicycle and headed out in a southern direction- So the first thing I saw was this fabulous beautiful woman who looked like Rose Byrne in "bridesmaids" she was walking her two little dogs one of which was a Pomeranian and she said happy Easter to me which I thought was very nice!  Did I mention the dropdead gorgeous weather?
WHEN I got down to the beach near Port Royal I walked all the way to Keewaydin Island and coming back I saw this family on the beach with a little boy (blonde) wearing a blue seersucker suit on the beach that was amazing a total Ralph Lauren moment- And I stopped to take a picture of the back of the Swanson's old house so that I could send it to my friend Julie Britt in New York- And as usual the beautiful private jets were coming in and departing overhead-
LATER Riding back uptown to my apartment in the Moorings section I saw this incredibly beautiful vintage Rolls-Royce Silver cloud speeding down Tamiami Trail as the sun beat down on it creating a fabulous spectacle- After lunch , a much-needed shower and a short nap I decided to check out the new Minghella film "Teen  Spirit" - starring Elle Fanning- it was Beyond my wildest expectations and I truly enjoyed it and I had the entire screening room at the Silverspot cinema to myself which only added to my pleasure- Zlatko Buric and Ruairi O'Connor were also amazing in this story of rags to riches- check it out!  That was all on Sunday- on Saturday I worked and then had a divine alfresco dinner with my dear William at DeRomo's in Bonita Springs- delicious!   XO DF

Monday, April 22, 2019


Dean Farris Interior Design (c) 2019

I was thrilled to have the chance to work with this client for the second time here in Naples- as I'm still associated with Gary David Designs, a very established firm  here and I had begun working with this lovely couple a few years ago on another condo here in town-

So, the big news here is that we installed a shiplap accent wall behind the sofa which we slip covered in white cotton duck- the sofa is one that I had chosen from the Gary David showroom- and the painting is one found by my clients after some trial and error- we first suggested a mirror there-

The low table with stone top is custom (DFID) and works beautifully with the other elements in the space including rattan chairs from Clive Daniel Home, sisal rug through Designers Rug Center, Naples, pillows from Home and Salvage, (a favorite source here) and new paint is custom mixed Benjamin Moore-

Accessories, clients own, and not shown in this shot are a Beautiful distressed finish French lantern over the dining table and a nice very tall fiddle leaf fig tree in the corner which is real not artificial- the client spends every summer in Italy, so they definitely prefer the authentic! DF

Sunday, April 21, 2019

STYLE: Baby Newport

Dean Farris Interior Design (c) 2019

I've loved damask since I was very young when I was in high school and created a project for my home economics class which was a Neoclassic house conjured totally from my imagination and later when I attended the art institute of Atlanta under chairman STAN TOPOL (see earlier posts on Stan)-
I love damask because it conjures up images of Newport's gilded age- the "cottages" !

So, yesterday, while shopping at the Miromar Design center where I also work -I found this beautiful  damask pillow at Blaze interiors -one of my favorite sources in the design center-  Where I had also discovered this copy of an Empire style pedestal for my Maitland Smith bust- !

BLAZE INTERIORS is a great source for all kinds of furnishings always at reasonable prices- like a J F Chen only in Florida- and one of the salesmen at Blaze,  Rory, just moved here from Calabasas, CA ! Hoping you'll enjoy this holiday weekend and stay tuned for tomorrow's post showing progress on my most recent collaboration with Gary David Designs !

Saturday, April 20, 2019

CLASSICAL: Edward Vason Jones

1124 Valley Road, Albany, GA

When I was a small boy I lived in Albany Georgia and my mother would always drive my brother and I by this pink house, the Shackleford home, on Dawson Road which was designed by Edward  Vason Jones, architect-  (see my earlier posts) EVJ Was also an early mentor to the connoisseur of classical architecture Richard Hampton Jenrette-

And here's another beautiful home that he designed which was built in 1951 for Ola Aultman, (whom my mother knew back in the 1950's- ) in Warwick Georgia -and subsequently moved to Valley Road in Albany Georgia-  I love the classical proportions and the refined details of this house and I can't think of a better place for an Easter egg hunt - !  While this house is not as grand as the pink house it certainly is just as elegant and beautiful ! DF

Friday, April 19, 2019

CHARM: Charleston

Roper House, Charleston, SC

I can't think of a better place to spend Easter/Passover than Charleston- above, the stunning Roper House- acquired by Richard Jenrette- for more check out his amazing book, Adventures With Old Houses - the anecdotes are disarming in the way Southern gents know how to tell a tale-  below- the garden at 8 St Michaels Alley- this is adjacent to the house I spent two wonderful years decorating for long time clients/friends from Old Salem-  have a lovely Holiday weekend! DF

Thursday, April 18, 2019

WATERFORD: Touch of Crystal

Dean Farris Interior Design (c) 2019

My wonderful client and friend of many years, Elaine, brought this Waterford egg back from a trip to Ireland for me and I've enjoyed it ever since-  The small but elegant piece plays well with the pair of rock crystal obelisk that I acquired yesterday which I have on the mahogany console table across from this small table shown here- Where a trio of selenite candleholders which I bought in Palm Springs many years ago also interacts with the polished crystal and the rock crystal - !  Follow along as I continue to refine the objects and furnishings in my small but elegant living room here in Naples-  DF

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

INSPIRED: David Hicks/Obelisk

David Hicks Interior Design

One of my favorite designers of the past is David Hicks and I was able to see one of his shops when I was in London many years ago while he was still living- The one I saw in the West End had scarlet walls with touches of violet in the upholstery it was  the most chic and stunning dramatic thing I had seen at that point in my life.  So yesterday strangely I came across this pair of rock crystal mounted obelisk copies from Maitland Smith which I immediately purchased for my apartment since I'm leaning in an Empire direction-  they make me happy and in researching the history of these objects I learned that they are of Egyptian origin-  stunning classics, the shock of the old!  DF

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

FLORAL: Fabulous Fakes

Dean Farris Interior Design

Sweetgrass designs in Naples Florida has been a source of mine for many years- It's always a pleasure to visit the shop and see the beautiful creations with incredibly real looking high-quality silk floral arrangements-

Here I used an existing pair of tole containers to create these charming loose and natural arrangements in my small dining area-  charm!  DF

Monday, April 15, 2019

CHIC: Palm Beach in Naples

Steve Matable Interior Design, Naples FL 

My good friend the esteemed designer, Steve Matable, has his condominium on the market currently here in Naples-  see the Listing from Sue Myhelic -  Steve was living in Palm Beach prior to his coming to Naples and I think he did a fabulous job bringing a Palm Beach look to the west coast- This two bedroom two bath unit was completely remodeled including new kitchen and bathrooms, And there is nothing like it available at this price point- Chic! (And well priced!). DF

Sunday, April 14, 2019

COMFORT: Down Cushions

Dean Farris Interior Design

I've always enjoyed the comfort of down cushions -whether it's a blend of 75 down to 25 feathers or one hundred percent down it's old-school luxury at its finest-  Here we have a vintage pair of slipper chairs with beautiful plumped up down filled seat cushions- I get a kick out of them because they remind me of when I lived in Bath and met the last assistant to John Fowler, Mr. Peter Hood- and was entertained in his flat there along with his lovely wife-

I also very much enjoy using down filled toss pillows for myself and for my clients -I recently purchased some here in Naples and I'm getting a lot of pleasure from them -they add so much to my room and I bought the same ones for a client that I'm working on right now which you'll be seeing shots of soon!  Clients often complain that they are too much trouble to keep plumped up however I feel it's worth the effort and it adds to the old-school elegant ambience which I'm always striving to achieve-  Comfort = Elegance!  DF

Saturday, April 13, 2019

GREER: Blue Satin

Michael Greer Interior Design

Being a neo classicist, I've always admired the work of the late decorator Michael Greer- Mr. Greer was originally from a small town in Georgia and we have that in common-  In previous posts I've talked about Michael Greer and how I worked with similar designers in New York- I even had an apartment on E. 57th St. where the whole look was inspired by Michael Greer!

I found this image to be especially arresting and particularly admire and like the aqua marine blue Dutchess satin on the Louis XVI chair-  What really makes this room so interesting is that it was done in the 1960s and therefore was very much ahead of its time in the point of view- the dark walls etc.  It wouldn't take very much to refresh this look for the 21st-century as the elements are classic, forever and timeless.  DF

Friday, April 12, 2019

HIGH TRAD: Bill Eubanks

William Eubanks Interior Design

I was just revisiting this house in Palm Beach which belongs to Ambassador Mary Ourisman, and it won a Ballinger award for the remodeling where they added a beautiful loggia- designer Bill Eubanks created an opulent setting for her dining room which I think is very beautiful in the palette as well as the use of chinoiserie decoration - kudos to Bill and Mary!  DF

Thursday, April 11, 2019

PAIRS: Sublime Symmetry

Dean Farris Interior Design

Here, I used my favorite pair of Louis XV style chairs upholstered in olive suede with nail head trim flanking this 19th century American mahogany Console table- plus four pairs of decorative Objet' - I waited a long time for the pair of silk damask pillows as one was given to me years ago -and then I just  discovered the other one recently-  And yes, I could've put a flat screen television here but chose not to in an effort to preserve what's left of the art of conversation between people one loves and cares about-  so important!  DF

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

LIGHTING: Opulence

Strauss Lighting, Miromar Design Center

When I was very young and spent a lot of time in New York City even before I moved there for my further education,  I would pass by these glamorous shops such as Nesle' and Charles Winston-

These shops were very dark and yet filled with the most glamorous crystal chandeliers, Empire style chandeliers and lanterns but mostly crystal chandeliers which screamed opulence-  Giving a mere tourist a sense of the grandeur of New York apartments looming above the streets -such as Park Avenue and Fifth Avenue in Manhattan-

I was always very impressed by the shops and one of my mentors, the late George Clarkson, could not even go into Nesle' because he loved so many things in there that it became very overwhelming for him-  He was certainly not one to waste a minute of precious time!  Below, a shot of the Strauss showroom at Miromar Design Center-  visit soon!  DF

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

PILLOWS: Decorative Impact

Dean Farris Interior Design

I've been working with these throw pillows for quite a while now I'm trying to get them exactly the way I want them a la Tom Britt - he was famous for stacking pillows on the sofa to get the look he wanted - which was dramatic and high style- pillows are important! DF


Monday, April 8, 2019

BEAUTY: Old Naples Beaches

via Pinterest

Endorphins! I am completely drenched in beauty from the natural world and all of my exercise this weekend- the weather was magnificent- Balmy breezes sunny in the high 80s and Naples if you haven't been here is one of the most beautiful places in the United States- It's also one of the most affluent coastal towns in Florida and is well known for many years for attracting an affluent patronage-

Founded in the late 1800s it began as a small fishing village and was not easy to get to in the beginning- I came here over 20 years ago and it has changed greatly since then- While I found this image on Pinterest under "the worlds most beautiful beaches"- I couldn't really give you a picture that would show how beautiful it is here -it's beyond any description- And I suppose I'm glad that as I head into my golden years I live here and not in Southern California where I had planned on living after I left New York City-

There's a quiet wealth here and even though people participate heavily in charities they don't really talk about it very much -you just see them in the magazines at all the fundraisers-  And in my humble opinion not only do we have the most beautiful beaches but we also have the most beautiful people -the kindest most giving generous and genuine people one could ever hope to meet!  DF

Sunday, April 7, 2019

MIXED: Silk Damask

Dean Farris Interior Design

MIXED - Just the way I like it a combination of 18th century elements both old and new both antique and reproduction in a chic blues and browns palette with touches of apricot- pillow fabric- Scalamandre'. Chair seats- Brunschwig, Slipper chair in Robert Allen.

This eclectic assemblage is a good example of how one can take a very small space and make it feel larger by using more furnishings and objects rather than less-  And while I keep saying to Billy that I'm done with this room for some reason I keep seeming to add more to it- As they say what ever floats your boat!

The reproduction rock crystal chandelier has been with me through the last three or four moves you'll notice it in older posts of mine here on Dean Farris Style- One of the things I like about it is that the light is filtered through the shades so it's never too bright however at some point I may have some red pleated silk shades made for it especially if I have the walls lacquered a dark brown!  That was a sensational combination I had in my Manhattan apartment in the East 60's off Fifth Avenue -it was such fun to come home to- It glittered like a little jewel box!  DF

Saturday, April 6, 2019

STAN TOPOL: Town and Country


STAN TOPOL Was my first interior design mentor back in 1975 -when he approved me for the interior design program at the Art institute of Atlanta- I've always been very inspired by Stan and his work along with his associate Reynolds Brown and I found this Video of Stan talking about the room he did in one of the designer show houses-  I really like the contrast between the city apartment above and the country house, below, which is in Newnan, Georgia -where Stan lives on a beautiful equestrian estate-  I still have fond memories of the many dinners we had at Stan's apartment in Buckhead as well as at the Peasant restaurants which he designed for Richard Royston- And once many years ago Stan took me into Richard's apartment in Atlanta and it was an explosion of 70's style - lacquered walls, collections, and an inlaid black and white chevron VAT floor -truly a Manhattan tour de force in Buckhead!  The guest room had walls upholstered in sort of a paisley type woven fabric which was stunning - I don't think I'd ever seen anything so chic in my life as this apartment and Richard's Rolls-Royce was parked in the garage below -the icing on the cake!  I remember even going shopping with Stan at ADAC and looking at fabrics -he was amazing as he spent a lot of time with his students in his capacity as chairman of interior design at the Art Institute of Atlanta-  I am sure that there has never been anyone quite like him and there never will be again- BRAVO STAN !!

Friday, April 5, 2019

CURTAINS: Inspired

Dean Farris Interior Design 

This post is inspired by The Glam Pad - there was a fabulous post there today on couture curtains-
Above, a luscious tied back panel for a tub -  below a simple edge treatment for some recently installed family room curtains- (cream on blue and white) and pinked curtains via The Pink Door, Greensboro, NC - DF

Thursday, April 4, 2019

INTERIOR: Twilight Glitter

Dean Farris Interior Design (c) 2019

I came home after another busy day, poured myself a scotch and lit these Ralph Lauren "Upper Fifth" candles and put on some music and then I took this picture which I thought I would share with you- !  Enjoy!  DF

GHOST: Baby Chair


I'm having a lot of fun playing with my new lulu Louis  ghost in the small version in this lilac color which I adore-  , I'm using it as a small table with books and flowers -I placed the flowers in a porcelain cup  by Marie Daage, the French designer- it's Limoges, and I love everything she designs
and thought how fun to put it with the Philippe Starck chair- the book on chair seat is "Sister Parish Design".   DF